Student Vanessa Win achieved great A-level results after being struck down with a mystery illness during her exams that saw her hospitalised for two weeks.
Medics carried out a series of tests on the 18-year-old, but were unable to say exactly what she was suffering from.
Vanessa, from Seaton Carew, was forced to miss time at college and was unable to revise as much as she wanted to.
But she was delighted to learn that she earned A grades in A-level French and history and a B in English.
Vanessa said: “I had a really bad viral infection that just wouldn’t shift.
“I was in hospital for two weeks in May and was poorly for about three months after that.
“They did every single test they could and they still couldn’t diagnose it other than a viral infection with glandular fever.
“I wasn’t able to revise for a long time, but I powered through.
“It is a good thing I revised before I got sick.
“I was quite poorly and tired during my exams. After an exam instead of going home and revising I would go home and go to bed ready for the next one.”
Vanessa said she was “over the moon” with her results as she was predicting she would get three Bs.
She is off to Newcastle University soon to study chemical engineering.
“I’m excited,” she said.
Colette Hogarth, English Martyrs’ head of sixth form, said: “Vanessa was always going to do fantastically well but with her being off due to her illness it is even more of an achievement.”